In my previous role, I was Head of City Regeneration at Sheffield City Council, but I'm trying to downscale a bit now (!!!) and so I work three days a week as Castlegate Kickstart Programme Director.
It's incredible that in some way or another I've been in town planning for over 40 years - but I love that Sheffield affords me the opportunity to always find new passions. I chair Sheffield's Waterways Strategy Group a multi-agency network which includes public, voluntary and community organisations with an interest in the rivers, streams and canal of Sheffield. And I've set up the Sheaf and Porter Trust to try to unculvert the hidden waterways in the city.
Place-making is a real interest of mine, and it's a pleasure to do this both directly and inadvertently through my work for Sheffield. This includes the Peace Gardens and Millennium Square, the Five Weirs river walk, Sheffield Canal restoration, City Centre Breathing Spaces pocket park programme comprising Devonshire Green, Nursery St and Edward St pocket parks and Sheaf Valley Park and Amphitheatre. More recent projects include the Lower Don Flood Protection scheme and arrangements for longer-term river stewardship, the regeneration of the Moor shopping street, the new Moor Markets, Matilda St Riverside Pocket Park and the 'Grey to Green Corridor'. I also led a multi-disciplinary team to produce the 2018 City Centre Plan for Sheffield.
Partnership is the key to it all, particularly with the community and voluntary sectors. There's so much energy, passion and civic duty in Sheffield that to get something done you need to get the people behind you.